A research program to evaluate the use of ceramic die inserts for ferrous diecasting was initiated by the Bureau of Mines at its Tuscaloosa Research Center. Data were compiled from the literature to characterize selected ceramic materials with respect to thermal properties, thermal-shock resistance factors, chemical reactions with molten metals, and processes required to form die components. With this information and a computer model developed for predicting temperature and stress patterns induced in ceramic materials during simulated ferrous diecasting operations, 27 candidate materials were evaluated. After evaluation, only 15 were considered for testing in an apparatus constructed to immerse the ceramic specimens in molten cast iron. Of these, 13 were tested in a modified testing unit in which cast iron was poured onto the specimens. These tests resulted in the selection of three materials for further testing: boron carbonitride (50 pct b4c:50 pct bn), boron nitride-grade m (bn-m, 40 pct bn, 60 pct sio2), and pyrolytic boron nitride (pbn). Tests in a gravity-flow die unit showed that pbn was thermal-shock resistant and could be used in diecasting of ferrous metals. Research at the Tuscaloosa Research Center is carried out under an agreement between the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the University of Alabama.